Masdar of Abu Dhabi wins auction for Uzbekistan solar plants
Central Asian country working closely with IFC to establish a robust public-private partnership programme
9 Jun 2021 | Michael Marray

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC (Masdar) has won both of the 200MW solar projects that were put out to tender in Uzbekistan under a public-private partnership (PPP) programme.

The Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan announced that Masdar has been awarded the project in the Jizzakh region with a bid to supply solar power at 1.823 US cents per kilowatt hour.  There were also bids from a Jinko Power consortium, Risen Energy, ACWA Power, Total of France, a Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) consortium, and a PowerChina consortium.

Masdar, part of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment, has also clinched the project in the Samarkand region with a bid to supply solar power at 1.791 US cents per kilowatt hour. Here there were six compliant bids, with the same list of bidders minus Risen Energy.

Uzbekistan has been working closely with International Finance Corporation (IFC), a unit of the World Bank Group, to establish a robust PPP framework and open up the country’s power sector to private investments, attracting foreign capital in an efficient and transparent manner.

The plants are part of the country's wider programme to develop 8GW of solar and wind capacity by 2030. Both fall under the IFC Uzbek Solar 2 programme.

IFC helped the government structure a previous PPP project under the World Bank’s Scaling Solar programme. This was also won by Masdar, in late 2019. Commissioning is expected in August of this year.

For the 100MW project in Navoi City, IFC also arranged a financing package including loans from IFC, Asian Development Bank and the Canada-IFC Blended Climate Finance Programme, plus interest-rate swaps from IFC. The World Bank provided a payment guarantee to support the National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development provided an equity bridge loan to Masdar.

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